Retired NBN newsreader Mike Rabbitt has been cited as a potential challenger to lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes in this year's council elections, but the man himself has other ideas.
"I think there's a lot of people that might be hopeful that I do throw my hat in the ring, but that is far away from my thinking, let me tell you," Mr Rabbitt said on Thursday.
Since retiring in 2014, he has kept busy with compering and charity work, occasionally driving shuttle buses to Sydney for a Newcastle company, spending time with his five grandchildren and travelling with wife Sue.
The affable anchor man is a popular and high-profile figure in Newcastle after almost 30 years on the six o'clock news and due to his passionate support of the Knights.
Mr Rabbitt ran unsuccessfully on an independent ticket headed by Allan Robinson in 2017 but is still seen by some as one of few viable contenders for Nelmes' crown on September 12 this year.
"Once bitten, twice shy, I think," he said.
"I had a crack at running No.2 with Robbo, and that didn't work out."
The four independents on the council, who are in a loose affiliation called the Newcastle Independents, have yet to nominate a challenger for the poll.
John Church, another former NBN newsreader, and Kath Elliott are the two independents who have most forcefully challenged the Labor agenda in the council chamber.
Cr Church said on Thursday that he would nominate again as a councillor in ward one, but the independents have not decided on their strategy for September.
NSW Liberal headquarters said the party's state executive had not decided whether to participate in council elections this year.
The Liberals have some concerns that party politics do not work well in local government and that changes to the legislation governing council elections will give the party apparatus less oversight of candidates' donations.
But it would still be a surprise if the state executive pulled the pin given local government gives the party more visibility and the opportunity to blood aspiring state and federal candidates.
Cr Nelmes (Labor) won in 2017 after claiming 42.6 per cent of the lord mayoral vote, well ahead of Cr Elliott (20.8), The Greens' Therese Doyle (13.3) and the Liberals' David Compton (12.9).
Labor won seven of the 13 seats, the first time it had secured an outright majority since 1977.
Another name linked to the 2020 campaign, property developer and former independent lord mayor Jeff McCloy, has told the Newcastle Herald repeatedly over the past year that he does not plan to run.
Mr Rabbitt said he expected Supercars, rate rises, the city administration's move to new offices in Newcastle West and the council's record on transparency to be front and centre in the campaign.
"They'll all come up. They are negatives, outside of the fact that the city's probably doing OK, but no one's going into town," he said.
"I think the special rate levy will come up, but whether that concerns the average Joe Blow, I'm not 100 per cent certain, but for the business owners it's got to have a massive input."
Meanwhile, the council will hold at least one more full meeting in City Hall before moving to the new chamber being installed at 12 Stewart Avenue.
A council spokesperson said on Thursday that the council's February meeting would be at City Hall and no date had been set for the move.